Thursday, August 16, 2012
I'm officially starting the post-Olympic backlash here. OK, not quite, don't worry I won't be demanding people stop admiring all those abs. Whatever abs may be, still haven't got to the bottom of that. Bottoms are glutes anyway, aren't they?
But what has happened in the UK is people are using the UK's remarkable success in the Olympics as political capital. The howls for more funding are loud and wolflike. Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London has called for two hours of competitive sport in schools every day. It's like a battle cry: 'More sport! More sport!'
Let me explain that the UK's success isn't that remarkable. I think it was at the Sydney Olympics we got one measly gold, and questions were asked in Parliament. LIterally. Members of Parliament wanted to know why the one m. gold. The answer of course was lack of funding. Out of this the UK's national lottery, part of the proceeds of which went to fund sport in the UK, was born. The rest is now Olympic history. We saw the start of it in Beijing we saw the continuation of it in London. At the moment, nobody wants it to stop.
Now I thoroughly enjoyed the Olympics. It was good fun. Watching all those calories being burned had the effect of making me want to burn more. I was down the gym several times that I can attribute to watching the Olympics.
And that's the burden of my plaint against the calls for more sport in schools. I did sport at school. It was part of the inferno we called PE, physical education. Two hours of unspeakable suffering at the hands of sadistic failed sportspeople, every week. There was never much attempt to accommodate the needs of kids who were not good at sport, didn't have good balance (tick) or had no coordination (tick again). It was all jolly hockey sticks but nobody ever explained to us that what we really needed was exercise, to keep the machine running smoothly and the ghost in the machine happy.
That's my trouble with all these calls for more sport. More exercise, yes, and explanations of why you need to do it, double yes. That's what is important for everyone.
But it doesn't have to be sport, or competitive. It's not necessarily about doing it better than everyone else.
Just do it.
Has that been said before?